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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-01-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT MET WITH HER JAPANESE COUNTERPARTAthens, 9 January 2006 (15:15 UTC+2)
The very good bilateral relations between Greece and Japan were confirmed by Greek Parliament President Anna Benaki-Psarouda and her Japanese counterpart Yohei Kono during their meeting at the Greek Parliament building today. Bilateral relations are constantly evolving and communication between Greece and Japan is at a very satisfactory level, stressed the Greek Parliament President.
Mr. Yohei Kono underlined that it is a great honor to be in Greece and referred to the success of the Greek Parliament President visit to Japan last May and particularly her visit to Hiroshima.
Mrs. Benaki-Psarouda referred to the message of Hiroshima that continues to be very strong and alive, adding that Greece and Japan as peace-loving countries should work for peace adhering to international law and human rights while combating war hotbeds.
The Greek Parliament President honored her Japanese counterpart with the gold medal of the Greek Parliament.
 WATER LEVEL ON THE RISE IN EVROS RIVEREvros, 9 January 2006 (14:55 UTC+2)
The water level of Evros River in northeast Greece is on the rise and local authorities are in a state of alert.
Water level at Pithio station was at 6.15 meters today with emergency level being at 5.70 meters.
In case the situation does not improve, authorities will proceed with a levee breach in the region of Pithio plain to eliminate the risk of uncontrollable flooding.
 NORMAL AFTERSHOCK ACTIVITY IN KYTHIRAThessaloniki, 9 January 2006 (14:27 UTC+2)
Aftershock activity in the sea region between the islands of Kythira, south of Peloponnesus, and Crete is normal after the major earthquake that hit the region yesterday measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale.
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Geophysics Laboratory Seismologists assured the local population that based on all indications there will be no strong aftershocks due to the fact that it was not an earthquake close to the surface of the Earth.
According to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki seismologists, after the major earthquake that rocked eastern Mediterranean no strong aftershocks were recorded. For the record, since noon yesterday there was no heightened earthquake activity and the strongest aftershock of a magnitude 4 was recorded at 7.34 this morning.
 THE AXES OF CONSTITUTIONAL REVISIONAthens, 9 January 2006 (14:09 UTC+2)
The establishment of non state universities, the protection of the environment, the parliament deputies' right to exercise their profession and the establishment of a constitutional court are among the proposals made by the government in view of the revision of the Constitution on which Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis briefed Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias.
The revision of the Constitution is the greatest institutional initiative undertaken by the government, stated Mr. Karamanlis stressing that the overwhelming majority of the citizens and political forces recognize the necessity of the revision allowing reforms to proceed in an effective manner.
Minister of Public Administration Prokopis Pavlopoulos is scheduled to visit President Karolos Papoulias to brief him on the government proposals on the municipalities and communities code and the public servants' code of conduct.
 THE HISTORY OF THE GREEKS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA RECORDED ON DVDVancouver, 9 January 2006 (16:19 UTC+2)
British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada, is the first region on which a person of Greek origin set foot without having the intention to emigrate.
In 1592, almost a century after America was discovered, Apostolos Valerianos from the Ionian island of Cephalonia, known as Ioannis Fokas, (Juan de Fuca) undertook on behalf of the Throne of Spain to put the western regions of the North and Central America on map ahead of the Russians who planned to colonize the region.
Fokas, a nobleman with roots going back to Byzantium, was the one who discovered the straits between Vancouver and Washington State, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, named after him.
The Greeks began to emigrate to British Columbia sporadically in the early 1800s and continued to a lesser degree until the next century. Greek emigration reached a climax after WWII and in the 60s before effectively ending after 1980.
A total of 15,000 Greek expatriates live in British Columbia today organized in communities and parishes while they are also represented in the Greek-Canadian Congress.
It took 3 years to record the history of the Greeks in British Columbia on a bilingual DVD (Greek and English speaking). The effort was financed by the Greek expatriates themselves.
 EPIPHANY CELEBRATED IN IZMIR FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER 84 YEARSIzmir, 9 January 2006 (15:47 UTC+2)
The last Epiphany celebration in Izmir in 1922 belongs to history. The Epiphany celebrated this year will also have its place in history as the first Epiphany celebration in Izmir in 84 years.
Ecumenical Throne Archimandrite Father Cyril Sykis officiated the Holy Liturgy at the church of Aghia Fotini in the presence of Greek Consul General Giorgos Katapodis, Lesvos island Prefect Pavlos Vogiatzis, consulate personnel, visitors and the few Greeks remaining in the city. They arrived at the Greek Consulate in procession and from there they continued to the waterfront. It was the first time after the destruction of Izmir in 1922 that waters were blessed by the Holy Cross. Two doves were released into the sky and 18-year-old Andreas Kolovos from Mitilini, Lesvos brought the cross back to the shore while those attending applauded in tears.
Archimandrite Cyril stressed to both the Turkish and the Greek journalists present that the Epiphany celebration is reviving, peaceful and symbolizes the blessing of the waters bearing great significance for the Greeks because it is being held in a place full of memories, while sending out the message of Christianity, rapprochement, and brotherhood in a world without wars, pain and refugees.
He thanked the Turkish authorities for giving their permission to hold the celebration as well as the Greek Consulate and the Prefecture of Lesvos for supporting and organizing the event.